Trump Hits Back at Cohen’s Claim He Knew of Trump Tower Meeting in Advance

“Someone is trying to make up stories.”

Michael Candelori/ZUMA

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On Friday morning, President Donald Trump denied a new claim that Trump knew about the now infamous Trump Tower meeting in advance. The June 2016 meeting featured a Russian lawyer with Kremlin ties who offered damaging information on Hillary Clinton to several Trump campaign associates, including the president’s eldest son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The president’s denial comes hours after CNN reported that Trump’s longtime personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, is ready to testify Trump knew about the meeting before it took place. The explosive claim contradicts previous assertions from the president and his son that he had no knowledge of the June 9, 2016 meeting, which has reportedly been at the center of Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe, until it eventually emerged in the press.

“No, I didn’t know until a couple of days ago,” the president told Reuters in July 2017, nearly one year after the meeting took place. The denial came amid several contradictory statements from Trump Jr., including claims he had never met with anyone from Russia to help his father’s campaign alongside shifting explanations about the meeting’s purpose.

Trump on Friday appeared to suggest that Cohen is making false statements in order to escape legal trouble linked to his taxi business. Responding to the CNN report late Thursday, Rudy Giuliani slammed Cohen, who worked for the president for over a decade, as a “pathological liar” and accused him of being “very jealous” of the Trump children.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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